The Best Packing Apps for Travelers Who Hate the Pain of Packing

man packing suitcase, packing apps, too-full suitcase
If you’re not one of the few masochist travelers who actually enjoys packing (like this author), smartphone technology is here to help. These three mobile packing apps aim to make the process as quick, painless, and mindless as possible.  

For the Ultimate Lazy Traveler: PackPoint

For travelers who are thoroughly packing averse, it doesn’t get much simpler than PackPoint. It’s clear that a great deal of thought went into the user interface. The streamlined design offers a simple, wizard-like process to handhold users through every step of packing. Just launch the app and enter a few basic details — including the date of your trip, where you’re heading, any activities you plan on doing while there (e.g. hiking, swimming, beach-going, etc.), and whether it’s for business, leisure, or both. PackPoint checks the weather forecast and pre-populates a packing list with a best-guess of everything it thinks you might need. Most travelers can likely make due with the basic feature set of the free version, although the paid version offers far more customization capability. The additional features make this our go-to app for free and paid users: TripIt integration and easy sharing functionality (to keep your family and friends posted about your travel plans). It’s also the only one of the three packing apps here available for both major mobile platforms.

Download: Freemium (free with limited functionality) version available for both iPhone or Android.

For the Control Freak: Packing Pro

If you’re not keen on packing but still appreciate being in full control of the process, Packing Pro is your man. The app lacks the polish of the other two mentioned here, and it can feel a bit confusing on first launch. But, it makes up for it with versatility and total customizability. Every item on your packing list can be customized with a dizzying array of options like which bag it goes in, the item’s level of importance for your overall trip, weight, monetary value, and the list goes on. Users can create specific packing list templates (say, one for business and one for leisure) and even templates within templates. This is an app designed for serious “power-user” type travelers.

Download: No free version. Paid version ($1.99 USD) available for iPhone, iPad, and iPod.

For the Every Man Traveler: PackKing

The cutely named PackKing is a compromise between the above two apps. The user interface is simple and streamlined like PackPoint, although it lacks some of the panache. The free version offers a few more features than the former, though, which is why we like it for most “average” travelers. It offers a long list of activities “baked-in,” like: Hiking, Photography, Beach, Dog, and Mobile Office. All of these include their own related items, so it’s easy to fine-tune your packing list no matter where you’re going or what you’re doing. It also asks if and how often you’ll be doing laundry while traveling, which can seriously lighten your clothing load.

Download: Freemium version available for Android only.

Once you’re finally packed and ready to board the plane, treat yourself to this travel playlist:

Travel

The 5 Most Scenic Amtrak Train Routes for Unparalleled Views of the United States

One of the great advantages of American rail travel — what makes the length and expense worth it — is the opportunity to see the breathtaking beauty of the land as you pass through it.
Music

A Christmas Music Playlist that Doesn’t Suck (Finally)

Let's face it: A lot of holiday music is insufferable. So, we curated an up-to-date playlist of Christmas and wintertime tunes that are actually great.
Fashion & Style

The Best Travel Bags to Carry You Through this Holiday Season And Beyond

No, you don't need full-size luggage for quick holiday travel.
Travel

Noken Delivers Custom, Hyper-Personalized Travel Guides Specific to You

Forget printed guidebooks and guided tours. Noken promises a whole new way to travel.
Travel

The Best Places to Travel in January 2019

Thinner crowds, cheap airfare, and beautiful weather make these destinations some of the best places to travel in January.
Travel

The Best Travel and Adventure Documentaries on Netflix Right Now

If you're reading this, you're staring at a screen. Wouldn't you rather be exploring a different part of the world than the Internet? So get inspired.
Travel

An Introductory Guide to Train Travel in the United States

With a little bit of forethought and preparation, you can turn Amtrak into Glamtrak.
Travel

7 Most Over-the-Top New Year’s Eve Experiences to Ring in 2019

Champagne? Check. Music? Check. Over-the-top festivities? Check.
Culture

10 Fiction Podcasts You Should Totally Get Sucked Into

Sit back, relax, and prepare for intrigue and adventure with the best serialized fiction podcasts.
Travel

A Comprehensive Guide to Amtrak’s Northeast Regional Train Stops

By far the busiest — and the most profitable — of Amtrak’s national trains, the stations along Northeast Regional offer more than just a break from your commute.
Fashion & Style

Travel Without the Tangle With These Tech Accessory Travel Organizers

With one of a travel organizer, you'll never have to unknot a bundle of charging cords again.
Travel

8 Cozy Cabin Rentals You Wish You Could Escape to This Winter

Snow outside, a roaring fire inside. These are our eight favorite cabins for a quiet winter weekend retreat.
Travel

Imagine Checking In and Boarding Your Next Flight With Zero Human Interaction

London’s Heathrow Airport is one step closer to realizing that utopian vision.
Travel

Pack It Up With the 8 Best Duffle Bags

Throw out that old high school gym bag and opt for one of these damn good duffle bags.